Answers to questions that many parents ask about how the CAH program works. Helpful advice from other parents who have children in the CAH programs

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2 Preface Care at Home: A Handbook for Parents is a guide that is intended to help parents/guardians meet some of the challenges of caring for a physically disabled child at home. It includes information about programs and resources that can help meet the medical and social needs of the child. There are four parts to the Handbook: Part I explains the Care At Home (CAH) Program, including the purpose of the program, the eligibility rules, how to apply, how Medicaid works, what Medicaid does and does not cover, and how Medicaid rules apply to the CAH Program. Part II provides other important information for parents: Answers to questions that many parents ask about how the CAH program works Helpful advice from other parents who have children in the CAH programs Guidelines for working with the case manager, budgeting, and dealing with private insurers and home-care providers Descriptions of CAH waiver services, including home adaptations and vehicle modifications Part III includes useful reference materials: Explanations of important terms used in the handbook Specific descriptions and facts about the CAH Waiver Programs Phone numbers to call to get more program information Sample forms used in the CAH Program Part IV includes helpful forms that can be copied and used to create a notebook for your child s home care information. It includes separate pages for: listing important phone numbers that parents or care givers may need to call often or in an emergency When the term "parent" is used throughout this manual, it will also include the child s legal guardian. the child s daily schedule current medications general information for caregivers

3 Contents Preface Part I: An Introduction to the CAH Program What Is the Care at Home Program? Who Is Eligible for the Care at Home Program? How Can CAH Help Our Child? What If We Already Have Insurance that Pays for Homecare? How Does the Application Process Work? Are There Any Other Requirements? Will Anything Else Be Needed? What is the CAH Budget Cap? Who Will Put Together My Child s Plan of Care? What Will Happen Next? What Else Do We Need to Know? How Do We Get Medicaid Services for Our Child? What Are Prior Approval and Prior Authorization? What Services Will Medicaid Cover? Are There Services That Medicaid Won t Cover? What If We Don t Agree With A Decision About Our Child s Care? What is a Fair Hearing? Can We Bring Someone to the Fair Hearing? How Should We Get Ready for the Fair Hearing? Part II: Additional Information Frequently Asked Questions Advice from Other Parents Facts, Tips, and Guidelines Working with the Case Manager

4 Caring for Your Child at Home: The Real Costs Creating a Family Budget Dealing with Private Insurers Using Home Care Providers CAH Waiver Services Getting Home Adaptations/Vehicle Modifications Part III: Reference Materials Key Terms CAH Waiver Descriptions CAH Waiver Fact Sheet Local Departments of Social Services Sample CAH Program Forms Part IV: Helpful Forms Notes for Caregivers Daily Schedule Current Medications Important Information/Telephone Numbers Nurse Information

5 What Is the Care at Home Program? The Care at Home (CAH) program is a special Medicaid waiver program. It is designed to provide certain medical and related services to families who want to bring their physically disabled child home from a hospital or nursing home. Families who have already brought their child home can also apply. The CAH program is for families who would not normally be eligible for Medicaid. CAH Medicaid helps to pay for medically necessary in-home services to make it possible for physically disabled children to live in their own home with their families. The CAH program is for families who would not normally be eligible for Medicaid. Who Is Eligible for the Care at Home Program? Two types of CAH programs are administered by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH): CAH I is for physically disabled children who require a level of care provided in a skilled nursing facility. CAH II is for physically disabled children who are technology dependent and require the level of care provided in a hospital. Both CAH I and CAH II require the child to have had a 30-day institutional stay. There are several other Care at Home programs for children with both developmental disabilities and complex health care needs who have not had a 30-day institutional stay. Those programs also help families with children who require special services to stay at home. Other Medicaid home- and community-based services waiver programs address the needs of children and/or adults who are mentally ill or who have suffered traumatic brain injuries. Each family s situation is different. It is important to speak with the local department of social services (LDSS) CAH Coordinator for advice about which program is right for your child and family. For those living in New York City, the Human Resources Administration (HRA) CAH Coordinator should be contacted for advice. More information about the CAH Medicaid programs is included in Part III of this handbook, along with important contact phone numbers. Each family s situation is different. It is important to speak with the local department of social services (LDSS) CAH Coordinator for advice about which program is right for your child and family. Part I: An Introduction to the CAH Program 3

6 More information about the CAH Medicaid programs is included in Part III of this handbook, along with important contact phone numbers. How Can CAH Help Our Child? CAH children get Medicaid coverage. If your child is eligible for the CAH program, he or she will be enrolled in the New York State Medicaid Program. Once enrolled, he or she will have access to all medically necessary services covered by Medicaid so long as services are obtained from health care providers who participate in the NYS Medicaid program. The Care at Home program also has available, when medically necessary, three special waiver services that are not available through the regular Medicaid program: Special CAH services: - respite - case management - home adaptation - vehicle modification 1. Respite Care This service provides short term, periodic care for your child when your family or the primary caregiver cannot provide necessary care. 2. Case Management These are services to assist and enable your child and family to access the full range of services and resources for which they are eligible. 3. Home Adaptations/Vehicle Modifications Home adaptations and vehicle modifications services are available to improve movement and/or safety for your child within your home and to improve your child s access from the home to the community. More information about these services can be found in Part II of this handbook. What If We Already Have Insurance That Pays for Homecare? Telephone numbers and addresses for LDSS offices and the NYC HRA office are included at the back of this handbook. You can still apply for CAH Medicaid for your child even if you already have health insurance coverage. Many families have health insurance, but often it isn t enough to cover all of the costs of keeping a physically disabled child at home. The CAH program is designed to work with other insurance plans so your child s coverage can be as complete as possible. For example, if a doctor isn t a Medicaid provider, your child s health insurance can be billed. In addition to 4 Care at Home Parent s Handbook September, 2003

7 doctors who don t accept Medicaid, there are also some services that Medicaid does not cover. Your child s health insurance may be able to pay for those services. Also, sometimes your child s insurance plan may not pay for as many hours of in-home nursing care as your child needs each day. In some cases, Medicaid may be used to pay for additional hours that the insurance won t cover. But remember, an important Medicaid rule is that all other insurance available to your child must be billed before Medicaid will pay for services for your child. Any other health insurance available to your child must be billed before Medicaid will pay for services for your child. How Do We Apply for the CAH Program? To apply for the CAH program, you should contact your local department of social services (LDSS) or the Human Resources Administration (HRA) in New York City (NYC) and ask to speak to the Care at Home (CAH) Coordinator. Each local department of social services office has a CAH Coordinator who will help parents apply for the CAH program. You can do this in person or by phone. You will have to fill out a simple, two-page form in order to start the application process. If you ask, the CAH Coordinator can mail it to you. The CAH Coordinator can also assist you in finding a case manager. Your case manager can help you with the application process. More information about the role of the case manager can be found on page 27 of this handbook. The CAH Coordinator will ask you some questions to see if CAH is the right program for your child. Part I: An Introduction to the CAH Program 5

8 How Does the Application Process Work? The first step is for you to apply for Medicaid. Remember, the Medicaid application must be completed for all members of your child s household, even though only your child is applying. The CAH application process brings together all of the information about your child to see if he or she meets the participation guidelines for CAH eligibility. The CAH Coordinator will set up a file for all of the information needed to make a decision about your child s application. The Coordinator will let you know exactly what information is needed. The first step is for you to apply for Medicaid. The Medicaid application must be completed including all members of your child s household, even though only your child needs coverage. Your child must be ineligible for Medicaid when parental income and resources are counted. and Your child must be eligible for Medicaid using only income and resources belonging to your child. If your child is found to be eligible for Medicaid when parental income and resources are counted, then your child (and possibly other family members) will be able to get regular Medicaid and will not be enrolled in the CAH program. If your child is denied Medicaid when parental income and resources are counted, your child may be enrolled in the CAH program if he or she meets the other requirements. Are There Any Other Requirements? In addition to Medicaid eligibility, your child must also meet several other requirements in order to participate in the CAH program. You will need to show certain papers to prove that your child meets those requirements. The requirements and the papers you will need are listed below: 6 Care at Home Parent s Handbook September, 2003

9 1. Your child must be under 18 years of age. In order to prove your child s age, you must provide your child s birth certificate. If you don t have your child s birth certificate, you can use another form of proof, such as a baptismal certificate or adoption record. If necessary, ask the CAH Coordinator for help. 2. Your child must have had a continuous, 30-day hospital stay (in some cases, 30 days within a 90-day period). You will need to show a letter from the hospital or a bill with the admission and discharge dates to prove that your child had a 30-day stay in the hospital. 3. Your child must be determined physically disabled based on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) rules. An LDSS worker will complete a disability interview (DSS 1151) for your child with information you supply. Another form (DSS 486-T) will be sent to your child s physician in order to get information about your child s disability. If those forms and other medical information show that your child has a physical disability based on SSI criteria, another form (DSS 639) will be completed for your child s file. 4. Your child must require the level of care provided in a skilled nursing facility (CAH I) or in a hospital (CAH II). A copy of the Pediatric Patient Review Instrument (PPRI), completed as part of the Home Assessment, should be used to show the level of care needed at home. 5. Your child must be able to be cared for safely at home and at no greater cost to Medicaid than in the appropriate facility. A copy of the estimated monthly budget for home care should be used to show all of the costs of caring for your child at home, including those to be paid for by Medicaid. under 18 years of age 30 day hospital stay SSI physical disability facility level of care monthly budget limit Will Anything Else Be Needed? In addition to the paperwork, the CAH application process also includes special assessments and reviews. These are used to see what services your child and family need and whether the CAH program can meet those needs. The Home Health Assessment An important part of the application process is looking at your child s medical needs at home. An agency is asked by the CAH Coordinator to complete a home health assessment for each CAH applicant. This assessment is used to determine if the program can meet your child s health care needs and if your child can be cared for safely and cost effectively in the family home. A home assessment is needed to see if CAH can meet your child s health care needs and to see if your child can be cared for safely and cost effectively in the family home. Part I: An Introduction to the CAH Program 7

10 A nurse from the agency will visit your home to complete the home assessment and fill out the necessary forms. The home assessment will provide a picture of the health care and services your child needs and how those needs can be met in your home. The nurse will look at your home to see how safe it is for your child. For example, the assessment will note things like how easy or hard it is to get your child in and out of your home. It will also note if your home has the right electrical service for any special medical equipment that your child needs. The CAH Plan of Care A Plan of Care needs to be completed for your child. After the home assessment is completed, a preliminary Plan of Care will be written. The Plan of Care should show all of the services needed by your child. It must include all of the following information: Descriptions of all services needed, including the Physician s Orders that show the medical necessity of the services How often the services are to be provided Names of all the service agencies and/or providers Unit costs of services provided Payment sources (Medicaid, private insurance) Case management information What Is the CAH Budget Cap? Only the care paid for by Medicaid is looked at under the monthly cap. When your child s Plan of Care is developed, an estimate of monthly home care costs for your child will be made. There is a monthly budget limit (sometimes called a "cap") for Medicaid costs for each CAH program. The budget caps are based on the type of care your child needs and are different for each CAH program: The monthly budget cap for CAH I is based on the monthly Medicaid costs for care in a skilled nursing facility. It is currently set at $9,000./month. The monthly budget cap for CAH II is based on the monthly Medicaid costs for care in a hospital. It is currently set at $14,500./month. 8 Care at Home Parent s Handbook September, 2003

11 A final budget is developed to show all of the monthly costs for care and services at home. The budget must also show who will pay for each item of care or service. For example, your private insurance may pay for necessary medical equipment, and Medicaid may pay for the hours of nursing care provided each month. Only the care paid for by Medicaid is looked at under the monthly cap. It is important to remember that all other insurance must be billed before Medicaid is billed. Using the other insurance available to your child will also help to make sure that your child s Medicaid costs for care at home do not exceed the monthly program cap. Only the care paid for by Medicaid is looked at under the monthly cap. All other insurance must be billed before Medicaid is billed. Who Will Put Together My Child s Plan of Care? The last step in the application process is to set up a final Plan of Care for your child. It will show all of the services needed by your child, who will provide the services, and how the bills will be paid. The final Plan of Care includes all of the following: The Home Health Assessment the report that lists the services and supports needed at home for your child The Pediatric Patient Review Instrument (PPRI) the report that shows the medical needs of your child The Physician s Orders the papers that show the medical necessity of the services listed The Case Management Plan the report that shows how your child will get services The Monthly Budget the report that shows the total hours of each service your child will receive, the costs of each item and service, and who will pay for each. The final Plan of Care is the responsibility of the CAH Coordinator, the assessing agency, your child s case manager, and you, the child s parent or guardian. You will want to look at the Plan of Care very carefully to make sure that all of your child s needs will be met. If you have any questions or concerns, you should discuss them with the case manager. When you sign your child s Plan of Care Services Form, your signature(s) indicates that you understand what services will be provided for your child and who will pay for each service. If you disagree with the Plan of Care as it is written, possible changes and other options should be discussed so agreement is reached before you sign. Part I: An Introduction to the CAH Program 9

12 What Will Happen Next? You will be sent a copy of the CAH approval letter for your child. The approval letter will show the monthly budget cap for your child. When all the paperwork is completed, there are two final steps: 1. NYS Approval The LDSS CAH Coordinator will send the completed information package to the NYS Department of Health for review and approval. 2. Implementation Following approval from the NYS Department of Health, the Care at Home program will be implemented for your child. Your child s enrollment will begin at that time. How Will the CAH Program Start? In some cases, if you disagree with the amount or type of service that your child will be getting, you can ask for a fair hearing. (More information about fair hearings can be found on page 15.) As soon as approval is received from the State, a telephone call or meeting with you, your child s case manager, and the LDSS CAH Coordinator will occur. The purpose of the call or meeting will be to discuss program implementation and to go over the Plan of Care for your child. During this call or meeting, the roles of each caregiver will be clarified so that you will know what to expect. By the end of the call or meeting, you should: Understand the roles of the CAH coordinator and your child s case manager. Be familiar with your child s Plan of Care. Know the monthly Medicaid expense cap (limit) for your child, including which care and services are to be billed to Medicaid. Understand the role of your child s physician in the approval process required for the services to be provided. Understand the re-assessment process and have a copy of your child s reassessment schedule. Understand the process of Medicaid eligibility recertification for your child. (More information about the role of the case manager can be found on page 27 of this handbook.) 10 Care at Home Parent s Handbook September, 2003

13 What Else Do We Need to Know? After your child has been enrolled in the CAH program, some things will have to be done on a regular basis. They are explained below. Reassessments The Plan of Care, which lists the services your child needs and shows how the bills are to be paid, must be reviewed and updated every 120 days. This means that a home visit (called a reassessment visit) by a nurse will be made about every four months. The visit is to make sure that the services being provided continue to meet your child s needs. Your child s Plan of Care needs to be reviewed every 120 days. In instances when there are frequent changes in your child s situation, the assessing nurse and case manager may decide that more frequent visits should be made. At the time of reassessment, a new or revised Plan of Care must be written, based on any changes in the services your child needs. You must review and approve any changes in your child s Plan of Care. The LDSS CAH Coordinator must also approve the changes. A new assessment may also be conducted whenever there is a change in your child and/or family s situation. Such assessments are referred to as eventbased reassessments. Some of the conditions or situations that might call for an event-based reassessment that may result in a completely new Plan of Care and/or new budget are listed below: Loss of a primary caregiver through illness or new employment A medical crisis involving your child (such as hospitalization) Major changes in your child s physical or mental health Physician s Orders The Physician s Orders must be renewed at least every 60 days. Pediatric Patient Review Instrument (PPRI) A new PPRI must be completed every year. Physician s Orders for services for your child need to be renewed every 60 days. Part I: An Introduction to the CAH Program 11

14 How Do We Get Medicaid Services for Our Child? Be sure to bring your child s Medicaid and other insurance cards with you whenever you take your child for medical care. Services must be medically necessary. Be sure you know what the rules for payment are for each program. If your child is in the CAH program, your child will have Medicaid available to pay for needed medical care and services, but only when the care and services are received from Medicaid-enrolled providers. The LDSS (or HRA in NYC) will order a Medicaid card for your child s coverage to be sent to you. Keep the Medicaid card with you whenever you take your child to medical appointments. Medicaid providers (such as pharmacists or clinics) will ask to see your child s Medicaid card every time they provide a service. (This is done to be sure that they will be paid for the services for your child.) If your child has other insurance that will pay for some services, you should bring those insurance cards and information with you too. In order for Medicaid to pay for care and services for your child, the care and services must be medically necessary. In most cases, this means that your child s physician must order the care and services. Some Medicaid services must have prior approval or prior authorization before they can be provided. As your child s Plan of Care is being set up, those Medicaid services that require prior approval or prior authorization can be discussed. (See page 13 for more information about prior approval and prior authorization.) The Plan of Care will show what services your child needs each month and who will pay for those services. The CAH Coordinator will help make sure that you and your child s case manager know what the rules for payment are for each service. 12 Care at Home Parent s Handbook September, 2003

15 What are Prior Approval and Prior Authorization? When a child is enrolled in the Medicaid program, requests for certain services and supplies must be referred to a health or social services official for review and prior approval or prior authorization. Prior Approval Prior approval involves a review to determine the medical necessity for a service. Listed below are some of the services and supplies that always require prior approval: Expensive medical supplies (IV, sickroom and miscellaneous supplies) Durable medical equipment (wheelchairs, etc.) as well as equipment repairs Prosthetic or orthotic appliances (artificial legs, etc.) Some repairs of hearing aids Requests for prior authorizations must be submitted to the local department of social services (or the HRA in NYC). Some brand-name medications Some services provided by dentists and physicians Some vision services such as contact lens fittings Prior Authorization of Services Prior authorization means that the local commissioner of social services (or his/her designated representative) agrees to pay for a service or a series of services to be rendered by the provider. If approval is given, Medicaid will pay for the services. Non-emergency medical transportation services and personal care services are two services that always require prior authorization. The child s medical provider must submit all requests for prior approval and prior authorization to the appropriate NYS or local DSS office (or the HRA in NYC). What Services Will Medicaid Cover? The New York State Medicaid Program covers a broad range of medically necessary health care and services when provided by practitioners and institutions enrolled as New York State Medicaid providers. Part I: An Introduction to the CAH Program 13

16 Listed below are some of the kinds of care and services that your child may access through the Medicaid program: Hospital inpatient and outpatient services, as well services from clinics Laboratory tests and X-rays Care in a nursing facility Home health agencies services such as nursing, home health care, and personal care Services of physicians and dentists and other health care providers including eye care, hearing aides, and podiatry Physical, occupational, and speech therapies Transportation to Medicaid-covered medical services as needed Medications as well as medical supplies, medical equipment, and appliances such as wheelchairs Early intervention and most health services in the Individualized Educational Program (IEP) of preschool and school-age children Hospice services Medicaid will pay for services for your child only when they are provided by Medicaidenrolled providers. Are There Services That Medicaid Won t Cover? The Medicaid program will not cover payment for services in certain situations. For example: 1. When services are not requested or approved by a physician 2. When services are provided by individuals, agencies, or facilities that are not enrolled as New York State Medicaid providers 3. When services are experimental in nature 14 Care at Home Parent s Handbook September, 2003

17 What If We Don t Agree with a Decision About Our Child s Case? If you think that a decision concerning your child s care is wrong or if you don t understand the decision, you can ask to have that decision explained during a meeting with the CAH Coordinator. Sometimes the fastest way to solve any problems is to ask for a meeting. If you meet with the CAH Coordinator and still disagree or if you don t want to speak with the CAH Coordinator, you can ask to have the decision reviewed at a fair hearing. You can have a meeting even when you ask for a fair hearing. However, for your child s services to stay the same while you wait for an answer, you must ask for a fair hearing within 10 days of getting the decision. What Is a Fair Hearing? A fair hearing gives you a chance to explain why you think a decision about your child s care is wrong. New York State holds the fair hearing. If you ask for a fair hearing, the State will send you a letter that will tell you the place and time of the hearing. During the fair hearing you, your lawyer, or other representative will have a chance to explain why the decision about your child is wrong. You will also be able to give the hearing officer any papers, such as medical bills and Physician s orders that help explain why the decision is wrong. A fair hearing gives you a chance to explain why you think a decision about your child s care is wrong. Can We Bring Someone to the Fair Hearing? When you go to the fair hearing, you can bring someone with you, like a lawyer, family member or friend who can help you explain why you think that a decision about your child s care is wrong. If you can t come to the fair hearing yourself, you can send someone to represent you. If you send someone who is not a lawyer to represent you, you will have to give that person a letter that tells the hearing officer that you want the person to represent you and your child at the fair hearing. You can bring someone with you to a fair hearing. Part I: An Introduction to the CAH Program 15

18 How Should We Get Ready for the Fair Hearing? A list of LDSS (HRA in NYC) CAH Coordinators with their addresses and phone numbers is included in Part III of this Handbook. Before you or someone representing you and your child attends the fair hearing, you should get copies of any papers that will help support your case. Supporting papers could include medical bills, Physician s Orders, and letters that explain your child s needs. If you need more information about your child s case or about how to arrange to see your child s file and/or get copies of it before the fair hearing, or if have any questions about which papers you should bring to the fair hearing, you should call your LDSS (or in NYC the HRA) CAH coordinator. If you need more information about how to ask for a fair hearing, you should call your LDSS (or in NYC the HRA) CAH Coordinator. 16 Care at Home Parent s Handbook September, 2003

19 Frequently Asked Questions These questions are often asked by parents caring for a child at home. The answers shown will explain many important points about the CAH program. 1. How long will we have to wait to be notified of our child s acceptance into or denial of acceptance into the CAH program? How long will the application process take? The CAH application packet must be complete before the LDSS (or HRA in NYC) can submit it to the NYS Department of Health. It must include all of the following papers: A completed, signed CAH application form A copy of your child s social security card Proof of your child s Medicaid eligibility without parental income/resources Proof of your child s age Proof of your child s physical disability (DSS-639, based on other required forms as mentioned on page 7) Proof of your child s length of institutional stay (such as an inpatient bill or insurance statement) The application packet must also include these important papers. Your child s CAH Coordinator will be sure that they are all there. The Home Assessment Abstract with results of the home visit The Pediatric Patient Review Instrument (PPRI), which shows your child s need for health care services The Plan of Care (POC) The Physician s Orders A completed budget sheet It usually takes 4 to 6 weeks from the time a referral is made to the acceptance/denial of the case. The process may be longer or shorter depending on how long it takes to get information for the application. Once received at the NYS Department of Health, the application is acted upon promptly. Part II: Additional Information 19

20 Will we be able to change case managers? 2. Is it possible to get a different case manager for my child? Families are always free to choose a different case manager or agency at any time. If you move within a particular county or within New York State, it may be necessary to change agencies. You may also request a change if you feel that you don t have a good relationship with your child s current case manager or case management agency. Keep in mind that in some areas of the state there are fewer agencies from which to choose. You should first contact the LDSS CAH coordinator to get a list of agencies in your area. Then you should call to find out if the agency you are considering is taking new cases. If there is an opening, you should discuss the needs of both your child and your family with the new case management agency. Once a new agency is chosen, you must notify both the CAH Coordinator and your child's current case management agency that you are changing case managers. It may take up to a month to change from one agency to another. The goal is not to interrupt any services that are in place for your child. All case management agencies must follow the same CAH rules. If you want to change agencies to get a service that your present case management agency is not able to get for you, you must keep in mind that a new agency may not be able to get that service either. That is why it is important to discuss your concerns with the CAH Coordinator as well as with your case manager. Can we apply for more than one waiver? 3. Can we apply for a different waiver program? A child can be enrolled in only one waiver at a time. The CAH programs also have different eligibility rules. If you want to apply for another waiver, your child must meet the qualifications of that program. It is important to remember that some waivers may have long waiting lists. If you want to apply for a different program, it is very important that you talk to your case manager and your CAH Coordinator in order to get information and help. More information about the other CAH programs and contact names and phone numbers are included in Part III of this handbook. 20 Care at Home Parent s Handbook September, 2003

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